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On Demand September 8, 2005

Biosecurity: Perception is Not Reality - The Need for a New Paradigm

Original Broadcast Date: September 8, 2005 | (1 hour, 30 minutes)


Handouts (9 pages)

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Program Overview

The incidence of infectious disease events are increasing worldwide at a time when there are more restrictions placed on the use of veterinary drugs and a growing concern by the public over the safety of the food supply. To address this situation, the emphasis has turned towards enhanced biosecurity. We have known for years how to biosecure premises but implementation of these measures is inconsistent. This is true at different levels in production systems.

Dr. Charles Beard from the U.S. Poultry and Egg Association recently stated, "If the growers are not brought into the effort to upgrade the biosecurity situation in the U.S. poultry industry, very little will be accomplished. The grower level is where the biosecurity effort needs to be concentrated because that is where the birds are." The same goes for the producers of all livestock. However, in today's animal production, it is no longer feasible to develop the biosecurity of an industry one farm at a time.

In other words, for a given region, we also need to develop a regional perspective to biosecurity. All livestock activities comprise disease transmission risks and these risks augment in significance as the regional density of such activities increases. Therefore, the management of infectious disease risks must include a regional level parallel improvements in communication within and between companies. The stigma attached to having an infectious disease is real and liability will always be a concern. But pointing fingers has never been an effective disease control strategy and therefore companies sharing a region must also share the necessary information needed to contain contagious diseases.


Jean-Pierre Vaillancourt, DMV, MSc, PhD
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Montreal, Canada

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